BlackBerry Maker RIM Buys Mobile Browser Firm

Netstat -vat by Sean Michael Kerner (bio)

A command line view of IT


From the “Whither Mozilla?” files:

I’m calling this one early. WebKit is the winner of the mobile browsing war.

WebKit, the browsing engine behind Google Android (and Chrome), Apple Safari (and the iPhone) is soon to be the browsing engine behind RIM BlackBerry devices.

What’s left for Mozilla (and Windows)? Probably more than a few devices, but RIM’s endorsement of WebKit is a big deal. RIM is buying its way into WebKit with the acquisition of mobile browser vendor Torch Mobile. Financial terms of the deal have not yet been publicly disclosed.

“Torch Mobile’s team of highly skilled developers has been actively involved in Open Source development and includes contributors, committers and reviewers of the WebKit project,” Torch Mobile said on its Web site. “As part of RIM, these developers will continue to be active participants in the WebKit
development community.”

What I’d expect to see from RIM is a new browser for Blackberry devices, sooner rather than later. My early (safe) guess is that this new browser will be based on WebKit, it will offer performance and features that other WebKit based browsers offer users.

Apple has set a standard for mobile browser performance with Safari on the iPhone. It’s one that that I think, other mobile handset vendors are keen to replicate.

Next Page: Fennec and IE

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